February 1, 2008

Still No Sign of Evidence

Hatched by Dafydd

Forgive my continued skepticism, but the stunning new evidence (?), reported by Power Line, Patterico, et al, that John McCain "almost certainly" did diss Samuel Alito, impresses me not a bit.

So in addition to two anonymous conservative lawyers telling John Fund that McCain said Alito "wore his conservatism on his sleeve," we now have two other anonymous conservative lawyers (who probably hate McCain anyway, as do most hard-core conservatives) saying roughly the same thing to Robert Novak.

Still, no one's willing to go public; nobody gives a direct quotation in context; and nobody has a transcript... meaning none of us can check it out for ourselves and see if we agree that's what McCainsaid and that's what he meant.

This isn't just hearsay... it's occult hearsay! "Hey, I heard some guy who wouldn't give his name say that Mitt Romney eats puppies and little children." "Oh, I heard some other guy, who also insists upon remaining anonymous, say something similar -- two anonymous sources means it's almost certainly true!"

And these are all attorneys finding themselves convinced by such unimpeachable evidence. How about applying some of those lawyerly skills to imagining how you would go about cross-examining Messrs. Fund and Novak about this "evidence." How many seconds would it take you to knock it down and stomp it to death?

Give us something we can actually use... something useful, like a transcript. Or a named witness. Or a direct quotation of McCain's full sentence. Something... anything. A hundred such unnamed sources with probable axes to grind will not convince me, despite my antipathy towards McCain. A thousand wouldn't.

This reminds me of a UFO nut calling into the Long John Neville show who demanded of guest host Fred Pohl "how much evidence does it take to convince you?" Pohl responded, "A million testimonials like those you have presented wouldn't do it... because you and I don't even agree what constitutes 'evidence.'"

Please give this some thought. It's a great temptation to believe every negative rumor about a guy you dislike... and for that very reason, you should be extra-specially skeptical of such "gifts from heaven." You may have mixed up the address of the sender.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 1, 2008, at the time of 6:29 PM

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The following hissed in response by: RBMN

Another thing that happens to intermediaries--the typical role for McCain in the Senate--is they're called upon to explain what the other side is upset about, or say they're upset about. To do that, the intermediary repeats arguments from the other side. If you ask me what Al Gore claims happened in Florida, in 2000, I'd have to say some things that I don't believe. Swoop into that discussion in the middle, without the implied quote marks, and I'm saying some really stupid things.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2008 10:34 PM

The following hissed in response by: eliXelx

Any resemblance to the sliming tactics that the Democrats, á la NYT, WaPo, Billary, etc. have always used is NO COINCIDENCE!

MDS is making Cons. Reps. into what they most hate! McCain's Presidency won't make them Democrats; they are perfectly capable of doing that to themselves!

Also, does anybody know FOR SURE whether there are Prada dresses in Rush's closet, or if Ann really did have a certain operation?

The above hissed in response by: eliXelx [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 3:14 AM

The following hissed in response by: Fritz

I totally agree Dafydd. I'm quite certain that Dan Rather and crew thought the Texas Air National Guard story was a gift from Heaven, and we all saw how that turned out for him. We should all make a pledge to try to be fair to those we perceive as enemies. Only when we can be fair to our enemies are we entitled to be called fair-minded and be respected as such.

The above hissed in response by: Fritz [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 3:29 AM

The following hissed in response by: MarkJM

Precisely, Dafydd. Once again, you reinforce why your blog should be at the top of all 'favorites' lists! Keep it coming!

The above hissed in response by: MarkJM [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 7:55 AM

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